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Katmai fishing boat accident and crew member deaths | Seattle, Washington boat accident attorney


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12/20/2008
Andrew Kim
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The 93 foot cod fishing vessel Katmai owned by Katmai Fisheries, Inc. sank in October, killing seven of 11 crew members.  The bodies recovered included Joshua Leonguerrero of Spanaway, Washington, Cedric Smith and Glenn Harper, both of Portland, Oregon, Jake Gilman of Camas, Washington in Clark County, and Fuli Lemusu of Salem, Oregon.  Two others Carlos Zabala of Helena, Montana, and Robert Davis of Deming, Washington in Whatcom County remain lost at sea.

The four survivors are skipper Henry Blake of Worcester, Massachusetts, Guy Schroder and Harold Appling, both of Anchorage, Alaska and Adam Foster of Shoreline, Washington.

The Katmai sank as the skipper tried to push through a dangerous island passage in a huge storm that had prompted other boats to seek safety on the lee side of islands.  Former crewman, Isaac Vigil, said that a weak area of the fishing boat was improperly repaired by trying to weld aluminum to steel, and that a crack below that patch leaked water into the fish factory.  Investigators also are trying to find out why one of the vessel's life rafts might not have inflated however, a carbon-dioxide cartridge was missing that is vital to inflation.

Survivors and the families of those who died have filed claims under maritime law, but it is unclear whether $5 million in insurance money will be made available to help settle the claims due to some coverage issues.   The insurance companies may deny coverage if they can find evidence of false or inaccurate representations made by Katmai Fisheries Inc. about the vessel and whether all operating restrictions were followed.  Some settlements have been reached with the owners of Katmai from private funds.

The Seattle, Washington boat accident and wrongful death attorney at Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC represents those seriously injured or killed at sea as a result of the negligence of the boat owners.  For a free initial consultation, please call us at 1-800-636-3676.


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Category: Boat and Watercraft Accidents


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